[Lingtyp] QUERY: lexical expressions for 'lie', 'truth', 'deception' etc. in various languages and cultures

Jess Tauber tetrahedralpt at gmail.com
Mon Jan 2 15:25:02 UTC 2023

The recently extinct Yahgan language (genetic isolate from Tierra del
Fuego) had a number of terms for 'lying': vsiku: (v schwa, colon marks
tenseness of vowel preceding it)- 'to deny knowledge of when you know full
well'. wI:enga 'create false impression, cheat, deceive'
(permissive-causative u:- derivation from yenga 'have a false impression').
yau(i)s 'false, deceitful, a lie, given to lying' and verb yauasana 'to
tell a lie, give a false account'. ya- is a body-part prefix referring to
the mouth in many words. auwvn is 'true, sincere, in earnest', and it may
be etymologically related to auwai 'yes'.

Jess Tauber

On Mon, Jan 2, 2023 at 9:02 AM Guillaume Jacques <rgyalrongskad at gmail.com>

> Dear Masha and colleagues,
> The Sepik language Alamblak has a suffix -*rxti* (an incorporated adverb)
> which can be used to express meaning corresponding to "lie" in
> other languages (Foley 2018:266, from Bruce 1979). We could perhaps use the
> term "deceptive" to refer to such a category.
> (1) pɨtxa-rxti-yaxiya-fora-mə-r
> talk-deceitfully-noisily-empty-rm.pst-3sg.m.sbj
> ‘He talked deceitfully and loudly to no avail.’
> I wonder if we find something similar in other language families.
>  A possible extension of deceptive markers are *simulative* markers
> (meaning "pretend to X"). For instance, Hopi has grammaticalized the
> adjective/noun *atsa-* "lie, falsehood, false" as a simulative prefix (
> *atsa-tokva* "pretend to fall asleep"). I have a forthcoming article in
> Studies in language discussing simulative derivations from a
> crosslinguistic perspective, where some of these examples are discussed.
> Happy new year,
> Guillaume
> Le dim. 1 janv. 2023 à 19:40, Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm <tamm at ling.su.se> a
> écrit :
>> Dear colleagues,
>> I am looking for information on how speakers of different languages talk
>> about lying, telling truth and deceiving in general by means of lexical
>> expressions. I am interest in all kinds of things: for instance, will all
>> languages have a lexical expression roughly equivalent to “truth” in
>> English? Russian is known to have two words for “truth” – are there any
>> other examples of languages with multiple terms for related  notions? Are
>> there languages that do not have a dedicated verb for a verbal deception,
>> like to lie? If a language has several “lying” verbs, what is the
>> difference among them? What metaphors are used for talking about lying and
>> telling the truth? Etc.
>> I am aware of a few relevant studies, but these are basically restricted
>> to a handful of European languages, so any advice and pointers will be
>> grossly appreciated. You can write to me directly rather than increasing
>> the spam volume of the messages to the members of this list.
>> A Happy New Year and all the best,
>> Maria (Masha) Koptjevskaja Tamm
>> Prof. Maria Koptjevskaja Tamm
>> Dept. of linguistics, Stockholm university, 106 91, Stockholm, Sweden
>> tel.: +46-8-16 26 20 (office)
>> www.ling.su.se/tamm
>> tamm at ling.su.se
>> _______________________________________________
>> Lingtyp mailing list
>> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
>> https://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp
> --
> Guillaume Jacques
> Directeur de recherches
> https://scholar.google.fr/citations?user=1XCp2-oAAAAJ&hl=fr
> https://langsci-press.org/catalog/book/295
> <http://cnrs.academia.edu/GuillaumeJacques>
> http://panchr.hypotheses.org/
> _______________________________________________
> Lingtyp mailing list
> Lingtyp at listserv.linguistlist.org
> https://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/lingtyp
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://listserv.linguistlist.org/pipermail/lingtyp/attachments/20230102/4929d74a/attachment.htm>

More information about the Lingtyp mailing list